High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a highly common medical disorder that increases the movement or flow of blood through the arteries causing severe heart issues. Blood pressure is measured by the quantity of blood that your heart is pumping and the resistance that the blood flow in your arteries are facing. If your arteries are narrow, there is a great chance of high blood pressure problems.
High blood pressure has proven to be a major health issue around the globe, in the recent decades. According to statistics, about 80 million adults residing in US are suffering from high blood pressure. It accounts to be one person out of three who is a victim of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, generally has no symptoms for a long period of times but problems usually occur internally. Blood vessels get damaged due to high blood pressure and your heart rate increases. This can cause heart attack and stroke which can prove to be fatal in many cases. In other people, it has also shown signs of eye damage, arterial hardening, renal or kidney damage etc.
High blood pressure develops over the years and fortunately, medical sciences have found various ways for early detection of this disease. There are numerous things you can do to control high blood pressure by working it out with your doctor. High blood pressure patients are given medications and proper diet plans in order to help reduce the raging high pressure. The high blood pressure doesn’t reduce on its own; an appropriate medical assistance is necessary and therefore it is advised that you contact a general physician as soon as you experience some heart issues. There are various types of medications used to treat high blood pressure, like thiazide diuretics, Angiotensin receptor blockers, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers.
What Is Considered High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is basically the measurement of the force that is being exerted on the arteries due to blood flow, as the heart pumps blood. This is also known as hypertension. The general physicians and doctors check blood pressure and take the readings using gauge, electronic sensors or stethoscopes and blood pressure cuff. The physicians aim to measure two types of blood pressure:
Systolic blood pressure: this is the number of heart beats during pumping of blood.
Diastolic blood pressure: this is the number of pauses between the heart beats while pumping blood.
The blood pressure monitor measures these numbers of rest and beats. It is denoted by representing the systolic numbers over diastolic numbers. For example 118/76 mmHg.
Normal blood pressure:
The normal blood pressure measure for an adult human is a systolic pressure which must be below 120mmHg and the diastolic pressure must be below 80mmHg. The blood pressure can vary while you are asleep or when you wake up. It can also change according to your feelings and emotions: it can increase when you are nervous or excited. If you are very active and working out or exercising, the blood pressure will certainly become high. As soon as the activity ceases, however, the blood pressure becomes normal and touches the baseline range. Blood pressure exceeds the normal limit with aging or increase in body size. The normal blood pressure for children and infants is very different from adults.
Abnormal Blood pressure:
When the systolic and diastolic measures exceed the normal limit, then the blood pressure is termed abnormal. There are three main conditions of increase in blood pressure:
- 120-139/80-89mmHg: This condition is termed as prehypertension
- 140-159/90-99mmHg: this condition is termed as High Blood Pressure Stage 1
- 160 or higher/100 or higher mmHg: this condition is termed as High Blood pressure Stage 2
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
There are generally two types of high blood pressures or hypertension:
Primary hypertension or essential hypertension: This type of hypertension or high blood pressure develops gradually over the years and there has been no definite cause found as yet for it.
Secondary hypertension: this type of high blood pressure is caused by some health conditions of your body. It appears suddenly and produces more severe results than primary hypertension. There are plenty of medications that cause secondary high blood pressure as well. Some medical conditions that are responsible for the cause of high blood pressure are as follows:
- Thyroid problems
- Renal or kidney issues
- Sleep apnea
- Adrenal gland tumor
- Various medicines like cold pills, birth control pills, pain relievers, decongestants, prescription drugs etc.
- Low consumption of nutritious fruits and vegetables
- Not enough body activity and obesity
- Many illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines
- Blood vessel defects which are congenital
- Alcohol abuse
Some people face hypertension when they have a lot of salt intake through their diet. You will see many ethnic people in African areas that are obese and have kidney issues which pertain to their heavy use of salt. Genetic issues also play a vital part in hypertension and high blood pressure. You’ll find various people around you who have had a parent or two suffering from high blood pressure in the past. This condition is proved right in almost twice the general population. Arterial abnormalities also cause high blood pressure. Arterial abnormality in case of hypertension is its increased resistance and lack of elasticity which causes stiffness. Arteries need to be elastic so they can narrow down or broaden according to the requirement by the blood flow. This stiffness is caused at the arterioles that are tiny arteries and is common among obese people or those who have a high salt intake.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
Majority of the people suffering from high blood pressure do not pose any striking signs or symptoms of this disease, even if the readings of the blood pressure are dangerously high. However, many people complain of severe headaches, short breath and nosebleeds if they are hypertension patients. But these signs are not specific to this condition and usually are only observed with patients whose high blood pressure has reached a fatally perilous level.
The most common side effects on the body pertaining to high blood pressure include chest pain and irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) which causes the heart to work extra hard causing chances of stroke and heart attack. The narrowing of the vessels can result in absence of blood in some important organs as well. It can also affect the brain functioning because of steady supply of blood to the brain. It might result in TIA (transient ischemic attack) or mini-stroke. Kidneys start functioning in a different manner because of the effect on excretory system. It can result in scarring of the kidneys which fails them entirely. In various cases, HBP also causes sexual dysfunction resulting in painful ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and impotence and blood flow in vagina.
A lot of patients get confused with the misconception that high blood pressure patients suffer symptoms like facial flushing, nervousness, excessive sweating and difficulty in sleeping. It is safe to say that hypertension is generally a symptomless disorder but if you are aware of your condition and you choose to ignore it, it is a huge risk for your life. The numbers say everything about your blood pressure so if the measure of the bp is high with consistency you should alert your physician.
The best way to know whether you are suffering from high blood pressure or not is to get it checked. There are many blood pressure monitors available for home use as well and anyone can find it on their own. Just one high reading does not imply that you are a high blood pressure or hypertension patient.